Grant Muller

Goodbye Pro Tools

Last week I waved goodbye to the first piece of pro gear I had ever purchased. My 8 year old Digi001 was sold on eBay for roughly a third of what I originally paid for it, boxed up (in the original box of course) and shipped to its new owner. Hopefully it will be well taken care of.

I had been thinking about selling for a year or so now. It only had 2 mic preamps on it, which means I had to keep my mixer for the extra preamps. It was a PCI interface device with a breakout box, forcing me to use a desktop. Digidesign stopped supporting it something like 5 years ago, which meant I was forbidden from upgrading beyond Pro Tools 6.4. Lastly though, using this interface with other software packages (Live!, Sonar, Max/MSP) was a nightmare. It worked, and thats about it.

Its this last part that made me the angriest. As a software engineer I get to deal with products all the time that will only work on one hardware platform or another, and likewise, software that only works with one hardware type. It drives me apenuts (That word only sounds right when Cary says it). I’m not a huge proponent of cross-platform software or anything, there are compilers for nearly every platform after all, but I am a huge proponent of Plug And Play style devices, which allow me to choose the interface I want to use. I like Pro Tools as much as anyone else, but sometimes I just want to twiddle around with Cubase (it has a much better sequencer), or Live! (for effects work).

So I sold the Digi 001 along with the gear I needed to support it, namely a big ass mixer that was just taking up space.

It’s replacement? I picked up a Presonus FP10. This used to be called a Firepod, it has 8 preamps (goodbye mixer), and connects via firewire (Hello laptop). I can use it with damn near all of my software, and it runs without a computer. Yep, all 8 preamps, through a separate power supply, so its basically a tiny mixer too. So as I start to acquire more Mandalas, I can run them all through this beast for a fully portable electronic/acoustic drum kit. I can also shrink the footprint of my racks and conserve some space in the studio. Everyone wins.


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